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December 28, 2010

Worker advocacy groups call for tax increases

In a report out today, the Progressive Maryland Education Fund and other groups are promoting tax increases as a way to help balance a state budget marred by at least a $1.2 billion hole.

The report, which calls for increases in the gas tax, the alcohol tax and on millionaires, among others, comes as Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley says he is putting together a budget that contains painful cuts, including to education, and no new sources of revenue.

"We're concerned about trying to balance the budget on cuts alone," said Neil Bergsman, head of the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute, another author of The State of Working Maryland 2010. "We need revenue measures."

The recommended tax changes begin on Page 23 of the report.

The ideas: Leave in place the million-dollar tax bracket, which is due to expire in 2011; raise the alcohol tax by a dime per drink and earmark those funds for health care; increase the gas tax by 15 cents per gallon; enact combined reporting for corporations, which would prevent them from sheltering profits in other states; and "modernize" the sales tax by taxing services in addition to goods.

In a conference call about the report this afternoon, Del. Thomas Hucker, a Montgomery County Democrat, said that despite the governor's pledge not to propose tax increases, "there is a lot of interest among my colleagues at looking at revenue enhancements."

"We can't just cut our way out," Hucker said. "We've been cutting for years." 

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 1:55 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: 2011 legislative session
        

Comments

You have been overspending for years Mr. Hucker.
Why do we Marylanders have to once again pay for MOM's incompetence in overspending/ budgeting?
Add 15 cents to galloon of gas is insane.
Gas is already 3 dollars a pop and going up.
I have to pony up because MOM drained the transportation funds to balance the books and win reelection-
ridiculous.
Plus. lets drive my employers out of Maryland.
Have these Progressives ever had a payroll to meet?
Typical Progressive bs!

If taxes are raised, the legislature will just spend that money on new things. We have to cut. Once I see significant cuts, not just temporary reductions like furloughs, I may be more open to tax increases. Cut salaries, reduce services, stop paying for unnecessary programs. Then lets talk about tax increases. Permanent cuts must come first.

Interesting! In yesterday's Wall St. Journal a story on some towns and cities taxing non-profits who are now up in arms.

How will taxing haircuts help the working class?

Tax the rich and stop spending money on war. Why do these suggestions get ignored? The defense budget and low taxes for millionaires and above are sacred cows while education, health, jobs, etc. gets cut.

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Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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